Far East

Isabelle Girls School

Norm Nelson, President and speaker for the “Compassion Radio” radio ministry, and his wife, Cher, have recently returned from Pusan, South Korea, where Norm spoke at evangelistic services held for junior and senior high school students.

Experiencing an incredible outpouring of the Holy Spirit over those in attendance, Norm spoke at the 4 services, seeing approximately 700 young people stand during the invitations to indicate their desire to follow Christ. The first 2 services were focused on our need for forgiveness and our need to forgive. The second two services dealt with the meaninglessness of a life built on the pursuit of wealth, knowledge, power and fame, rather than a life built on the solid foundation and purposes of God.

Nelson chose for his first text the story of Zaccheus, demonstrating the need for full repentance, which calls for a complete change of direction, and restitution to those we have wronged; and, God’s calling us by name to full forgiveness and restoration.

Following those 2 messages, he used the example of the great King Solomon, who had all of the world’s wealth, wisdom, power and fame, but found it all meaningless. In a society that places an almost overwhelming emphasis on success and honor through excellence in education, he challenged these young women to a life of love and service to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Norm Nelson’s history in Pusan, South Korea, goes back 30 some years. His father, Wilbur Nelson, who preceded Norm in broadcasting on what was then known as the “Morning Chapel Hour”, was invited to speak at this same event approximately 30 years ago. At that time the Isabelle Girls School was a five-year-old fledgling Christian School, having grown out of a need for education of the Isabelle Orphanage.

American/Korean orphans, a result of the Korean War. As Wilbur Nelson conducted those first services, he did so on the playground of the school, because there was no building large enough in which the student body could meet.

He returned to America driven with purpose to raise the funds to build an auditorium for the school. Through his radio constituency he raised the majority of the money needed to build what became Nelson Hall, the finest auditorium in Pusan at the time, that has been used for years by not only the school, but for exceptional citywide fine arts performances.

The school, which was initiated to be a tuition-based Christian girls school, was taken over by the government approximately 10 years ago. What seemed at the time to be a bitter blow, has become its greatest blessing. Because of the excellence of education provided by Isabelle School, the government did not require that any of the curriculum, activities, administration or staff be changed. Therefore, the 3000 girls, who are assigned by the government to Isabelle School, receive the same daily Bible classes, weekly chapel services and guidance of the Christian staff and teachers, as did the former private students. In this setting, every other year, is also held a 4 day Evangelistic Rally.

This rally is covered by the earnest prayers of the teachers for months in advance. The worship music is prepared by the 40 member Mission Team of Christian students in the school, who do outreach evangelism to the community and person-to-person evangelism with their fellow students all year. Each girl who stood to make a commitment, regardless of whether or not she went to the counseling room for prayer, will be followed up personally by both a teacher and a Christian student.

Nelson has had his heart broken for the American church through experiencing the example of the Korean Christian community, which has had an awakening of the Spirit, and a renewed passion for missions. He states: “While we in the American church continue to pursue material, physical and psychological comfort, Christians in Korea, China, the Middle East and elsewhere devote their lives to prayer, evangelism, and (in many instances) risky personal witness for Christ. As long as we continue to spend more money on weight-reduction products than on missionary outreach, we will not experience the revival and empowerment that we need!”

We ask your prayer for these loving, lovely young ladies — that the Holy Spirit will solidify in their hearts and minds the commitments they have made. Pray that the Christian staff at Isabelle can nurture them in the faith, and prepare them to go into the world as strong witnesses and brilliant reflections of our Savior.

Pray that they will take up the challenge that Norm laid down for them – to be willing to live and to die for a cause greater than any other in this world — the cause of Jesus Christ and His worldwide Kingdom.

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